Skip to main content

Navigation and Map Reading in Yorkshire

By 6th September 2020March 11th, 2024Navigation


Join us on a GPS navigation and map reading course in Yorkshire and you will learn the golden rules of navigation – and much more.

Navigation using a map and compass is not some irrelevant skill from the past. GPS and smartphones have not made map reading redundant. For any number of reasons it’s still the number one skill to learn before venturing out into remote hills and mountains in the UK. We discuss these reasons on our courses. The root cause of many accidents and mountain rescue call-outs is a navigational error. Sure, they may be called out to rescue a walker with a broken leg. But when you trace back along the chain of events that led to the accident, it so often stems from ‘taking the wrong turn’ or ‘not being sure of the way.’

You can also read our article with lots of tips on how to improve your map reading and navigation skills.

Booking and Prices

If you’d like to know more about our GPS navigation and map reading courses in Yorkshire, then see our main page for more details and prices or see what our clients say about us.

When you are ready, then get in touch to make an enquiry or a booking.

We also run navigation courses in Snowdonia and the Lake District.

You can read our article with lots of tips on how to improve your map reading and navigation skills.

Beginners’ Map Reading Courses in Yorkshire

Maps, compasses and other tools to teach map reading and navigation on a course

The tools of navigation

These map reading courses are ideal for anyone who is terrified by navigation or thinks that they simply can’t do it.

The emphasis is on demystifying the whole subject and making it accessible to everyone. Simple language. Simple concepts. Everyday comparisons. In addition, we have a whole ‘toolbox’ of techniques and tips to help you to understand in a way that makes sense to you.

As with many things, you don’t need to learn or even understand everything on Day One. You just need to know enough. Once you have practised what you have learned and it is becoming embedded, then it’s time to move again.

This is how the courses are structured. They give you the opportunity to learn progressively at your own pace, regardless of what others might be doing.

Intermediate Navigation and Map Reading Courses

Our intermediate courses build on the beginners’ map reading courses and help you to become independent in more challenging terrain and situations. Typically this will involve more reliance on your compass and less on visible ‘handrail’ features. It will also involve making much more use of contours to interpret the shape of the land rather than relying on man-made features or easily visible features such as tracks, streams and forests.

For those courses based on GPS navigation, we look at both dedicated devices (such as a Garmin) and use of a mobile phone. We will cover the key functionality and different modes of a GPS device so you understand how best to use it in different circumstances. We will also look at navigation using a mobile phone, and discuss which apps and mapping are most suitable. We will also cover the limitations and constraints associated with relying on mobile phone for navigation.

The view from Ilkley Moor during a navigation course in the Yorkshire Dales

Navigation high on the moors

Advanced Navigation and Night Navigation Courses

Practising night navigation on a navigation course

Practising night navigation

Book some night navigation training and take your navigation skills to another level. You might wonder why you would do a navigation and map reading course at night, when you don’t usually go walking at night. There are a number of answers to this.

First of all, the UK has short days during the autumn and winter months. Often the amount of daylight available is less than the amount of time needed to complete your hike. So it’s inevitable that you will do either the start or the finish of the walk at night. Even in the summer, if you have planned a very long walk, there still might not be enough daylight.

Taking a compass bearing on an intermediate navigation course

Taking a compass bearing on a navigation course

Second, closely related, is that it can be quite common for a day’s walk in daylight to go on longer than expected. This could be due to  simply walking more slowly than planned.  Or it could perhaps be due to an accident of some sort. In these cases, you become caught out by nightfall unexpectedly but still need to navigate your way home.

There is a third reason for a night navigation course.  Darkness simulates other conditions where there is very limited visibility. Examples of this could be cloudy conditions on a mountain summit, a winter blizzard, or being deep in woodland or forest.

A night navigation course in Yorkshire will suit you if your walking exploits are becoming more adventurous and you are likely to encounter any of the circumstances described above. It could also be useful for someone who is on the journey with their Mountain Training qualifications and wants a bit of coaching or to be put through their paces a little.

Children’s Navigation and Map Reading Activities

A young boy works out his route on an orienteering map during a map reading course on Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire

Children’s map reading course with an orienteering map

If you would like your kids to learn some valuable life skills then join us on our children’s navigation and map reading courses in Yorkshire. Navigation and using a map and compass is good mental exercise for adults and it’s a fun way to get kids active and engaged with some problem-solving. You can even continue the theme when you get back home indoors.

Using a progressive series of fun activities, we introduce children to the skills of map reading.  This will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives, whatever they do.